Thursday, November 08, 2007

Literary Arts Festival

The Translation Project is organizing an Iranian Literary Arts Festival from November 13-17 at Theater Artaud, 450 Florida Street in San Francisco. In partnership with Beyond Persia, the festival program features an art exhibit, panels, a gala celebration and the world premier of ICARUS/RISE, a theatrical piece based on new Iranian poetry and voted by 7 X 7 Magazine as the HOT PICK for November. ICARUS/RISE was created by Niloufar Talebi, with original score by Bobak Salehi and choreography and video by former SF and LINES Ballet dancer, Alex Ketley. ICARUS/RISE shows on November 15, 16, and 17. The November 17th show is followed by a gala celebration benefiting The Translation Project.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The woefully inadequate English language

"English is such a limited language. Why does it not have a word for the rushing sound a grandfather clock makes before striking the hour or the act of sticking a finger up a chicken’s bottom to see if it is about to lay an egg? Others do," writes Alan Hamilton in his discussion of Adam Jacot de Boinod's "second compendium of unlikely but useful words that other languages enjoy but English does not. "

Boinod's "original compilation included such obscurities as the Japanese baku-shan (a woman who looks better from behind) and nakhur, from the Farsi, meaning a camel that won’t give milk until its nostrils are tickled."

Hamilton admits, however, that English speakers will probably have little opportunity "for an equivalent of the Finnish poronkusema, being the distance a reindeer can travel without taking a comfort break. Nor would a snappy translation of embasan, from the Maguindanaon language of the Philippines and meaning to wear clothes while taking a bath, be daily on the lips of the chattering classes."